Q. And you
still paid out the million dollars?
Q. So that's another $80,000 in lost entry fees down the drain. Were
most of these players regulars?
A. To Barona? No. About 70 percent were first-timers.
Q. How did you find so many new premium players?
A. We have ten independent rep groups that rep us, as well as Vegas
properties. They're in Texas, Palm Desert, from all over. Nobody had
ever done this before, so the reps shared my enthusiasm because it was
so unique, so it was an easy sell for them.
Q. Would it be out of line to ask who your outside player development
A. Like I said before, we have ten or so, but our top producers for
this event were Luxury Travel out of Las Vegas, Steve Conigliaro, Jack
Feinberg, Dave Grunell, and Bill Novelli.
Q. It's hard to believe that you could get more than 30 world-class
gamblers to schlep all the way out to San Diego when they could be in
Vegas. Was the prize the reason the came?
A. I'm sure it was. When can anyone get a one in fifty chance to win
a million dollars for only ten thousand?
Q. How was the budget broken up?
A. We added five hundred thousand [laughs], or planned to anyway, to
the pot and then we had welcome gifts, rooms, transportation, food and
beverage, golf, training, some other cash prizes, consultants ... just
lots of things that added up.
Q. Speaking of transportation, how did you get these high rollers out
A. Some flew in on their own jets, we leased a few for others, some
came by helicopter -- we have our own heliport here -- some more flew
in first class, and we had all of our limos and rented a few more, about
twelve in all, running full time for four days.
Q. That's a lot of limos. Why so many?
A. We had them there in case anybody needed anything special; we wanted
to provide the extra service.
Q. Did you comp anyone's entry fees?
Q. No! What did your customers say about that? This level of player
is pretty used to getting everything handed to them on a platter.
A. Even our guests with million-dollar-plus lines didn't complain. They
were all willing to pay the ten thousand just for the experience.